Handbook of Eating Disorders: Physiology, Psychology, and Treatment of Obesity, Anorexia, and Bulimia

By Kelly D. Brownell; John P. Foreyt | Go to book overview

6
Diets for Weight Reduction:
Nutritional Considerations

Patricia Nicholas

Johanna Dwyer


Introduction

Obesity increases the risk for several chronic degenerative diseases, so weight loss in those at risk should be encouraged. The method chosen should be intelligent, rational, and nutritionally sound.

The purpose of this chapter is to review the nutritional factors in weight reduction. We will examine one popular form of dieting that can be fraught with nutritional problems: the use of popular diet books. We will analyze several popular diets based on their caloric, other nutritional, and consumer-related characteristics. The turnover of popular diet books is extremely rapid, so most of the books we have chosen for analysis are likely to be off the shelves shortly. However, our analysis highlights some general rules that can also be used in critiquing new contenders.

Those who have existing health problems or conditions requiring chronic use of medication; those who have emotional problems; those who are pregnant, lactating, in a period of rapid growth; or those who have experienced serious difficulties in previous weight loss efforts should not follow self-prescribed diets. They should consult their physicians and dietitians for a more highly individualized nutrition plan. This chapter describes the general principles governing medically and nutritionally sound weight reduction plans. It is hoped that the developers of diet books and programs will adopt these criteria.

____________________
We thank the Culpepper Foundation for partial support provided to Dr. Dwyer for the completion of this manuscript, and Ms. Susan Hill for editorial assistance.

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